Authors & Self-Publishing

Research findings, commentary and analysis about how authors publish and the latest developments in the evolving self-publishing arena.

authors, self-publishing, books, blogs, podcasts

4 Steps to Create a Blog or Podcast That You and Your Readers Will Love

If you’re a self-published author, in addition to writing and producing your books, you must take on the responsibility of marketing them. The most successful author-marketers foster strong relationships with their audiences. Blogging, whether through written weblogs or verbal audio blogs (podcasts) is one of the best ways to build and maintain a fan...

authors, website, blog, social media, marketing, pr

Reboot Your Online Presence in the New Year

You’ve probably been hearing a lot of “New Year, New You” talk recently, from people looking to jumpstart a new, healthy lifestyle to those looking to rethink their finances. This January, I’d like to recommend that all current and aspiring authors apply the “New Year, New You” concept to their digital brand. The new...

social media, authors, content

3 Keys for Producing Engaging Social Media Content

The goal of good social media content is interaction that leads to loyalty and trust. And the keys to good content are not a mystery. Marketing studies have been conducted on how people buy, what kinds of social media content they respond to, and why. To sell books on social media, you need to...

authors, podcasts, marketing, sales

How Podcasting Helped One Author Find Her Marketing Happy Place

Launching an indie book can be a daunting endeavor. An author has so many options for marketing activities that it’s practically impossible to do all of them. Author Jenny Blake tried. But all that work took a toll. “I crashed three weeks before the book came out,” she said. So for her second book,...

indie authors, ebooks, bookstores

8 Tips for Indie Ebook Authors to Sell Print Books at Local Bookstores

Online stores are the most common venues for indie authors to sell their books, whether in digital or print format. And while digital publishing gives authors access to readers around the world, many self-published writers are also eager to get their books into neighborhood bookstores. So if you’re an indie author interested in getting...

authors, libraries, books

6 Tips for Authors to Create Engaging Library Programs

Libraries are community service powerhouses. A peek at any library’s calendar of events reveals one tough fact: author programs are a small fraction of a library’s lineup. Patrons often shun author programs in favor of knitting classes, business improvement courses, and movie nights. Why? Many modern library users see libraries as one-stop community centers....

authors, books, ebooks, content, brand, author platform

4 Tips for a Successful Ebook Blog Tour

For every genre of ebook, there are hundreds of book bloggers—people who read books and post reviews on their sites. When ebook authors plan their book launches, many of them add blog tours to their marketing plans. A blog tour is series of pre-arranged blog posts, usually scheduled during the months just before and...

authors, self-publishing, books, ebooks, editing, covers, proofreading

3 Keys to Self-Publishing from a Space Shuttle Engineer

The journey to writing and launching that first book is one of the most challenging things anyone can do in their professional career. You’re constantly out of your comfort zone, having to learn a myriad of new things, and must wear every hat in the business realm. It’s no wonder that as many as...

self-publishing, author, indie author, indie publishing, publishers

How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Marketing

This is part six of a six-part series. You’ve written your book, had it edited, sorted out the formatting and typesetting and done everything you can to make sure it’s as good as it possibly can be. Your cover design makes your book stand out to potential readers and you’ve polished the blurb until...

self-publishing, author, indie author, indie publishing, publishers

How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Formatting for Hard Copy

This is part five of a six-part series. Ebooks might be cheap to produce and distribute, but many authors still choose to do a short print run or make their books available in stores on a print-on-demand basis. Readers still like printed books—they’re not going away any time soon! And even if you don’t...

self-publishing, author, indie author, indie publishing, publishers

How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Ebook Distribution

This is part four of a six-part series. You’ve finished your book and you’re about to take the plunge and release it as an ebook. How can you make sure you’re fully prepared so that the process goes as smoothly as possible? Of course, you’ve already read the first three posts in this series,...

self-publishing, author, indie author, indie publishing, publishers

How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Ebook Formatting

This is part three of a six-part series. You’ve got your finished manuscript in Microsoft Word and you’re ready to turn it into an ebook. You need to convert it into MOBI format (for Amazon Kindle) and EPUB (for everywhere else). There are various companies, tools and programs that can convert your file for...

w3c, idpf, epub, ebooks

The Author’s Guide to Book Marketing: Part 2

In part 1 last week, we discussed the two basic questions that should drive any author’s marketing strategy. Below, we show how to turn that strategy into a workable plan. Step 1: Set your tactics Using all you’ve learned above, list every way in which you’ll reach your reader around publication. A classic marketing...

self-publishing, author, indie author, indie publishing, publishers

How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Cover Design

This is part two of a six-part series. Good cover design is the single most obvious way of making sure your book stands out on the shelf and looks professional. Do Your Research Look at your competition, both in hard copy and online. What looks professional and what looks bad? Why? Make your own...

w3c, idpf, epub, ebooks

The Author’s Guide to Book Marketing: Part 1

I’ve worked in the world of books for over a decade, mostly in marketing, from major houses like Wiley and FSG to Amazon to my current role at the start-up Inkshares, where I’m VP of Marketing & Operations. I’ve worked with hundreds of authors and have even been a part of getting a few...

self-publishing, author, indie author, indie publishing, publishers

How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Editing

This is part one of a six-part series. As a self-published author, it’s your responsibility to make sure your book is as high-quality as it can be, and an editor is an indispensable resource who can help make your book look professional instead of amateurish. Getting off to a Good Start Ask your peers—other...

audiobooks, print books

Make Audiobook Creation Your Goal for 2016

Recently, an author commented in a writer’s forum that he was just starting to create audiobooks and felt like he was coming late to the party. I could understand why he’d feel that way. After all, news sites and other authors often discuss the explosive growth in the audiobook market, noting that this industry...

A New Service to Help Authors Wrangle Reviews

The Great Amazon Page Count Mystery

How Amazon pays authors for work included in Kindle Unlimited (KU) made headlines across the inter-webs recently. Ann Christy’s post “KU Scammers on KU – What’s Going On” even made it on to the homepage of Hacker News. The discussion raises many interesting questions about what reading data Amazon collects and how Amazon uses...

audiobooks, books, content, iphone

4 Ways Planning Your Audiobook Can Make You a Better Writer

As an audiobook narrator, I encourage every author to get her work into audio. However, regardless of whether you ever want to create audiobooks of your titles, these four tips from other authors about planning your audiobook will make you a better writer. 1. Listen to audiobooks. This first piece of advice surprises many writers....

author, indie author, self-publishing, indie publishing

Why Fiction Authors Benefit from Indie Publishing

Independent publishing has changed the way authors look at the industry, with many questioning whether it’s worthwhile to play the waiting game and pray for the payoff from a traditional publisher, or instead take their fate into their own hands. There are clearly benefits and pitfalls to either choice. What authors need to seriously...

The Benefits of an Amazon Giveaway for Kindle

The Benefits of an Amazon Giveaway for Kindle

Amazon Giveaways are now available for Kindle ebooks. No, I’m not talking about KDP Select free promos. I’m talking about Amazon Giveaways—contests hosted by Amazon on Amazon.com which until now have only been available for print books and other physical products. But now you no longer need to have a print edition to run...

How to Best Use Facebook as an Author

Whether indie or traditionally published, most authors today can agree on one thing: social media has helped redefine the way books are promoted and discovered. And perhaps just as important, it has allowed authors to further create and strengthen ties with their audience. But what’s the best way to get started with social media?...

indie self-published authors book reviews Amazon marketing discovery

Do Amazon’s Book Review Policies Meet Authors’ Needs?

A self-published author says a review she posted on Amazon for a fellow writer’s book was removed because, according to the e-tailer, she knows the author personally. The author, Imy Santiago, has challenged that assertion with Amazon’s customer review moderators, which she says Amazon told her it determined based on her “account activity.” Reviewing...

multi-channel publishing authors multimedia

Where Authors Fit into Multi-Channel Publishing

In many ways, some authors already excel at multi-channel content development. I recently argued that the digital publishing ecosystem is creating ever more lucrative, practical opportunities to deliver content across a wide range of media formats. Now I’d like to turn to consider how authors fit into that picture. Consider an illustrated children’s title, whether...

Which Authors Do Subscription Services Benefit?

Subscriptions services may yet turn out to be a next game-changer in publishing, but for the moment that market is in a state of flux and expansion. Oyster recently added an ebookstore loaded with Big Five titles, a move that could in turn bolster the subscription model, potentially attracting new readers and making the brand more competitive...

children's publishing digital kids apps picture books authors

Picture Book Apps and the Case of the Vanishing Author

Many children’s book authors aren’t huge fans of the so-called “picture book apps” or “story apps” entering the children’s market at ever increasing volumes. One reason why is because they aren’t authoring them. I recently spent a lot of time with children’s authors while completing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults...

indie authors self-publishing ebooks Lulu

The Trouble with Indie Math

The self-publishing platform Lulu.com recently published this infographic drawing on data from the latest report based on the Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey as well as from the Author Earnings project: Lulu’s intent is to tout the benefits of going indie—and indeed, the service makes a lot of good points, many of...

Why Authors and Readers Still Want Print

Some of the biggest book industry events and trends of the past few years, including the closing of Borders bookstores, the rise in popularity of tablets and e-readers and the exponential growth in the number of ebooks (as well as of digital-only authors and publishers) could easily give the impression that print is becoming...

How Authors Can Build Content Communities

Digital technology is changing the way we read, but it’s also changing the way we write. How can authors take advantage of this? A friend of mine who writes crime fiction is interested in how this might happen. She is a bit worried about it, too. I told her how impressed I am by...

Authors Playing the Long Game in a Tough Book Market

In the 2014 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey, we noticed low satisfaction scores for sales, marketing and earnings among the authors in our sample, leading us to speculate that there was a gap between authors’ expectations and the realities of the book market, where it is very difficult to sell a large number of books....

authors indie publishers small press

Lessons and Expectations as the Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey Evolves

This year marks the third year that Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest are surveying authors on their publishing experiences and income. When I came on board last year, I began by revisiting the numbers from the inaugural Author Survey published in early 2013. While Digital Book World’s then–editorial director Jeremy Greenfield had already...